National Science Week 2020: 10 Fun Online Events & Activities to Do With Your Family

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National Science Week 2020 is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology running from August 15 to 23. Like everything else this year, National Science Week has been affected by COVID-19. Choose from a range of online events by local science providers here in the Newcastle, Hunter & Central Coast region. There are lots of fun and learning to be during this week including events and activities hosted by Hunter Innovation and Science Hub and Central Coast Science Hub.

Get Your Kids to Build a Mini EV Solar Car for Science Week

Saturday 15 – 23 August  | Online | Free | Details

Why you should participate: Get your kids to build a Mini EV Solar Car as part of Science Week. They can design and build their own mini Electric Vehicle (EV) from a kit for prizes totalling $200. With the kit, they can then build the electric vehicle at home – family input is encouraged. You can find support on how to build the vehicle via online videos and instructions on the Hunter Innovation and Science Hub website. The EV Fest has now run for nine consecutive years by the Hunter Innovation and Science Hub and is a fun event for local schools. It is a project-based activity to promote STEM education in a fun and competitive way to local primary and high schools. However, this year with COVID-19, the competition will be virtual instead of in person.

Kide Science – Kitchen Science STEAM Education

Sunday 16 August at 10am  | Online | Free | Details

Why you should participate: Kide Science is proudly presenting an online Facebook live class during National Science Week 2020. This interactive, hands-on session is for children all over Australia who are looking for fun, playful ways to dive into the world of science! No booking required, just tune in to our Facebook live session on Sunday 16 August at 10am. Suitable for kids aged 3 – 10.

Exploring Newcastle’s coast – a Virtual Geology Field Trip

Monday 17 August at 5:30pm – 6:30pm  | Online | Free but bookings required | Details

Why you should participate: Experience a virtual tour of the amazing geology of the Newcastle coastline as part of National Science Week. Newcastle has some fascinating geological features. This public webinar will give you an insight into changing landscapes over 250 million years. Meet local geologists online and ask questions!

‘Deep Blue’ Marine STEAM Competition

Now until August 23 2020  | Online | Free | Details

Why you should participate: Dive into the deep blue and let those creative juices flow this National Science Week! Enter Curious Cubs ‘Deep Blue’ Marine STEAM Competition for a chance to WIN an awesome science pack. Get creative with craft materials, paint and items from around your home and backyard to design and make a marine creature. Suitable for kids aged 3 – 10.

Create Your Own Symbion Artwork

Now until August 23 2020  | Online | Free | Details

Why you should participate: Pick your favourite marine creature; find a Superpower; and create your artwork – a designer animal that could rule our oceans one day – A shark with super vision, whales with metal detectors, turtles with a headtorch – come up with your own design. Scan or photograph these creations and send via email to: during National Science Week and see if they are chosen to be uploaded on the Central Coast Science Hub Facebook Page (limited to 50).

How Plants Work: Experiments and Competition

August 15 – 23 2020  | Online | Free | Details

Why you should participate: Hunter Region Botanic Gardens is proud to bring you 7 downloadable hands-on plant experiments to do at home based on the ‘How Plants Work’ book by Kevin McDonald. Using light, water and paper towel, discover the germination process of seeds as they take root, learn how seedlings act when they’re kept away from sun, find out about the importance of water and sun in plant growth, and record your results like a true scientist.

Newcastle Museum Express Facebook Live

Thursday 20 August 2020  | Online from 4pm – 4:15pm | Free | Details

Why you should participate: Watch Museum Express Scientist Catherine show you how to make homemade ice-cream from just the ingredients that you already have at home, then go and try it out yourself! Yum!

Marine Science Webinars

Friday 21 August 2020  | Online | Free | Details

Why you should participate: Do you have a tricky question about Life on a Marine Vessel or need to know something specific about Sharks & Rays or do you want to find out something Coral related? Email your questions to before Thursday 20 August then register to join one (or all 3) of these Webinars presented by Central Coast Science Hub during National Science Week to get these questions answered (and many more!) by 3 of the University of Newcastle’s School of Environmental & Life Sciences Staff.

Space Science in VR

Friday 21 August from 7:45pm to 9pm for adults & Saturday 22 August from 11:15am to 12pm for families with children | Online | Free | Details

Why you should participate: The Universe is waiting to be discovered. SciVR will take you on a hunt out into the universe for things that go boom! We’ll explore the origins of mysterious and energetic phenomena, tracking events as they occur with Alan Duffy and Rebecca Allen with live Q&A. Download the free app and explore the universe

Tangaroa Blue Online Family Workshop – Protecting Our Oceans from Home

Sunday August 23 2020  | Online from 10am to 11am | Free but bookings required – limited to 30 households | Details

Why you should participate: This is a FREE family online workshop via Zoom celebrating Science Week 2020. One of the ways we can combat the major environmental problem of plastics in the ocean is by changing our habits at home. In this workshop hosted by Tangaroa Blue Foundation, there will be a discussion about the effects of plastics in our oceans, what is being done in Australia to combat the issue and some simple switches to common single-use plastic items which we can all make!

Stars and Science at Rathmines – Lake Mac STEAM Week – EVENT POSTPONED TO 2021

Friday 14 August (POSTPONED) | Rathmines Theatre | 5pm – 9pm | Free but bookings essential due to COVID-19 guidelines | Details

Why you should go: From 5pm there will be free science workshops and activities with stargazing and science films starting as the sun goes down. Curious Cubs will have Pop Up Labs with limited numbers to ensure social distancing. During each session, children will participate in 5 hands-on science activities themed around physics, chemistry and forensic science. Once the sun goes down visitors can meet members of the Newcastle Astronomical Society, ask questions and get a close up look at the stars through telescopes. Bring your own picnic dinner. Coffee, drinks and snacks available at the event.

Steam HQ – Lake Mac STEAM Week – EVENT POSTPONED TO 2021

Saturday 15 August & Sunday 16 August (POSTPONED) | Warners Bay Theatre | 10am – 2pm | Free but bookings essential due to COVID-19 guidelines | Details

Why you should go: Join in a weekend full of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, ARTs, and maths) shows, activities and workshops all part of Lake Mac STEAM Week. Enjoy Scienza Viva “Let’s Find Out” Science Shows, Science Storytime, VR Underwater Labs and STEAM Play with Ozobits, Snap Circuits and LEGO® MINDSTORMS®. All activities have limited numbers to comply with COVID safe requirements.

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